Hotel Fire in Atlanta Suburb Kills
01.15.2006, 02:33 PM
Fire broke out in suburban Atlanta hotel early Sunday, killing
one person and injuring more than a dozen others.
Firefighters had to rescue about 20 of the hotel's 168
guests who barricaded the doors of their rooms to keep the
smoke out, Cobb County Fire Chief Jackie Gibbs said.
The fire started about 3 a.m., apparently on the second
floor of the 30-year-old Holiday Inn, firefighters said.
The cause was under investigation, officials said.
The hotel did not have a sprinkler system,
Marietta Fire Chief Jackie Gibbs said, "This was a
major hotel fire. We haven't experienced ever in Marietta,
in my history, a hotel fire of this magnitude."
Gibbs, a firefighter for 28 years, said this is the first
fatality from fire Marietta has had in several years. Gibbs
says at least 20 people had to be rescued by ladder trucks
from the burning seven-story hotel, located on Delk and
Franklin roads near Interstate 75, just after 3:00am.
Of the hotel's 168 guests, 18 people were treated at area
hospitals for smoke inhalation and minor injuries. Gibbs
says two Cobb County firefighters also were injured in the
blaze, but their injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.
Gibbs declined to release information on the person killed,
pending notification of the next of kin.
The cause of the fire still is being investigated but officials
said the fire was believed to have started from a hotel
room on the second floor. The hotel sustained "serious"
fire damage on floors two through five and had smoke damage
throughout the entire building.
The hotel did not have a sprinkler system because it was
built more than 30 years ago, before building codes required
such safety devices.
Gibbs says the hotel's smoke and fire alarm system was
working at the time of the blaze, although guests told Atlanta
television stations that the alarms were faint and difficult
to hear inside hotel rooms.
Nearly 100 firefighters from Marietta and Cobb County fought
the blaze, which took more than an hour to extinguish. A
phone message to Holiday Inn officials was not immediately
Marietta fire officials and Holiday Inn officials did not
immediately return calls seeking additional comment Sunday.
Eighteen hotel guests were treated for smoke inhalation
and other injuries, including one man who broke his foot.
Two firefighters were also injured, Gibbs said.
Fire officials did not immediately release information
on the person who died in the fire.
Lodgian, one of the nation's largest
independent owners and operators of full-service hotels,
including the Holiday
Inn Hotel & Suites in Marietta, Ga., said that they
have temporarily closed
the hotel, pending completion of a fire department investigation.
The hotel's fire alarm system reported a fire at approximately
3 a.m. this
morning. Hotel staff immediately notified fire department
officials and began
assisting in the evacuation of guests. According to fire
officials, the fire caused one fatality and 26 additional
evacuated to the hospital. The cause of the fire is under
which is expected to be concluded later this week.
"We are deeply saddened by the death and injuries,
and our prayers are
with our guests, associates and their families," said
Ed Rohling, Lodgian
president and chief executive officer. "We have relocated
guests to other
accommodations in the city. We will determine when the hotel
following the investigation and evaluation of the extent
of the damage."
Hotel guests who wish to reclaim their belongings or have
future reservations may call 770-952-7581.
Lodgian is one of the largest independent owners and operators
service hotels in the United States. The company currently
owns and/or manages
a portfolio of 78 hotels with 14,120 rooms located in 29
states and Canada. Of
the company's 78-hotel portfolio, 49 are InterContinental
Hotels Group brands
(Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Select and Holiday
Inn Express) 16 are
Marriott brands (Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill
Residence Inn), and 11 are affiliated with four other nationally
hospitality franchises such as Hilton and Carlson (Radisson
and Park Inn). Two
hotels are independent, unbranded properties. For more information
Lodgian, visit the company's Web site: http://www.lodgian.com.
This press release includes forward-looking statements
Lodgian's operations that are based on management's current
estimates and projections. These statements are not guarantees
performance and actual results could differ materially.
The words "guidance,"
"may," "should," "expect,"
"believe," "anticipate," "project,"
"plan," and similar expressions are intended to
statements. Certain factors are not within the company's
control and readers
are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking
statements involve risks and uncertainties including, but
not limited to, the
company's ability to generate sufficient working capital
from operations and
other risks detailed from time to time in the company's
SEC reports. The
company undertakes no obligations to update events to reflect
assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes
results over time.
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